Dogs are attractive to fleas. The least that you want is for you pet to suffer from flea infestation and its consequences. Hence, make sure that you know how to listen to the warning signs and watch out for dog fleas.
Signs that Your Dog Has Fleas
- Excessive scratching, chewing, or licking – if you notice that your dog is developing the habit of scratching, chewing, and/or licking, check him and chances are he has fleas.
- Shaking the head and scratching the ears – your pet will usually show this behavior when fleas are bothering him.
- Other signs are as follows: hair loss, hot spots, skin redness, pale gums, skin disorders, scabs, and presence of tapeworms
If you notice these signs, here is what to do to confirm flea infestation:
- Check his coat and skin and look for flea dirt. These are pepper-like droppings that you will find on his skin (mild to heavy infestation) and coat (moderate to heavy infestation).
To run a quick check, focus on the armpits, ears, and groin, as fleas will usually converge and hide in these areas.
- Brush your pet’s coat using a flea comb. The comb’s teeth will catch the fleas hiding in your pet’s coat.
When combing, make sure to let the comb’s teeth come as close to the skin as possible, or to gently touch the skin to capture fleas that are good at hiding themselves.
- Check for dog fleas that may roam in your home. Usually, when fleas have already satisfied themselves in sucking your pet’s blood, they will jump off your pet and roam around.
The best treatment is always to prevent flea infestation. You can do this with the following:
- Make sure that you clean your home regularly, using a vacuum cleaner to pick up any fleas lurking in your home.
- Fleas or not, wash your pet’s beddings with hot water. Fleas rarely survive in hot temperatures. Deny them the environment they need to thrive.
If there is flea infestation already, here are the things you can do:
- If the infestation is from mild to moderate, get rid of dog fleas with natural remedies. Here are some of the best treatment:
- Use a natural flea collar – you will need an old clean scarf, a few drops of lavender or peppermint oil, 1 to 3 tablespoons of water.
- Brush away the fleas with a good quality flea comb.
- Spray your pet’s coat using this solution: a cup of vinegar (white or apple cider), 4 cups of fresh clean water, a few drops of peppermint, lavender, or citrus oil. Combine the ingredients and use a spray bottle to administer to your pet.
- Heavy flea infestation may require you and your pet to visit the veterinary for diagnosis. The veterinary will determine the best treatment that will also address the consequences of the infestation such as the allergic reaction of your pet to fleabites.
Listening to your dog’s body language will help you detect the warning signs of fleas early. Who knows that aside from dog fleas, your pet’s body language may signal something else?